Green Public Procurement Guide: Maximizing Environmental Health

Green Public Procurement Guide: Maximizing Environmental Health

Introduction

Green procurement is about minimizing the negative environmental and health impacts associated with purchases made by public bodies. It is about buying products and services that are more energy efficient, less toxic, and create less waste and overall life-cycle costs. Buying ‘greener’ products and services helps minimize the environmental impact of public bodies’ procurement activities, and in many cases provides better value. Comparing products and services may consider elements such as the use of raw materials, packaging, distribution, reuse, operation, maintenance, and the disposal process and requirements. Upfront costs will always be a core part of assessing any proposal, but should be incorporated into the overall evaluation as part of life-cycle costing. Additionally, a number of other elements may impact ‘best value’, including environmental impacts. While developing requirements and specifications for products and services that include green criteria may be viewed as a core activity, green procurement activities exist throughout the procurement process, including when determining needs and when engaging and selecting suppliers. Green procurement is not just about buying the greenest possible product available. Instead, it’s about ensuring that green issues are strategic priorities for public bodies and are sufficiently considered as part of overall procurement decisions.

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